“Agreement of silence”

Transcripts available in the following languages:

I find it true among the veterans - now, even among ourselves - I think combat is such a horrible experience that few if ever, want to talk about what happens in combat. And so there is this…agreement of silence. And not only do they not talk to their wives, their children, or anybody else, but we don’t even talk to each other, you see.

We do get together, we love to get together, we’re extremely comfortable together. You know, 24 hours a day in combat seems like eternity. You know, when you don’t know when you’re going to die any moment, you know, life could come to an end and people are asking you to do what is normally almost an impossible task, at peace time no one would ask you to do, and you’re constantly…that pressure to achieve something that’s almost physically impossible in great, great danger. You learn to depend upon each other, so much so that when you haven’t seen somebody even for five, ten, fifteen, twenty years and you see them again, not only are you overjoyed, but nothing has changed.

Date: August 28, 1995
Location: California, US
Contributed by: Watase Media Arts Center, Japanese American National Museum

100th 442nd army military veterans World War II

Get updates

Sign up for email updates

Journal feed
Events feed
Comments feed

Support this project

Discover Nikkei

Discover Nikkei is a place to connect with others and share the Nikkei experience. To continue to sustain and grow this project, we need your help!

Ways to help >>

A project of the Japanese American National Museum

Major support by The Nippon Foundation